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Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura won 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics

Oct 8, 2014 10:36 IST

Three Japanese-born researchers Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura on 7 October 2014 won the 2014 Nobel Prize for Physics.

They were honoured for inventing efficient blue Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) lamps that worked as a bright and energy-saving white light sources. These white LED lamps are seen as a boon in the fight against global warming and aiding people in poverty.

The winners will share the prize sum of 8 million Swedish kronor. As per the tradition, the laureates will receive their prize at a formal ceremony in Stockholm on 10 December 2014 which marks the anniversary of Nobel Prize founder Alfred Nobel's death in 1896.

In 2013, Nobel Prize for Physics went to Peter Higgs of Britain and Francois Englert of Belgium for the discovery of the God particle, the sub-atomic Higgs boson which gives mass to other elementary particles.



The invention of blue Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) lamps
Red and green diodes had been around for a long time but for the creation of white light, blue light was necessary. Despite considerable efforts, the blue LED had remained a challenge for three decades. However, the trio of Isamu Akasaki, Hiroshi Amano and Shuji Nakamura succeeded where everyone else had failed.

Akasaki and Amano working at Nagoya University and Nakamura working at the Nichia Corporation focussed on the compound semiconductor gallium nitride (GaN) which could be ideal for creating blue LEDs. The trio used their high-quality p-doped GaN along with other GaN-based semiconductors in multilayer heterojunction structures and created the first high-brightness blue LED in 1993.

Their inventions were revolutionary. Where incandescent light bulbs lit the 20th century, the 21st century will be lit by LED lamps invented by them.

About the Awardees- Isamu Akasaki

•    Isamu Akasaki was born in 1929 in Chiran, Japan. He did Ph.D (Doctorate of Engineering) from School of Engineering, Nagoya University in Japan in 1964.
•    He had served as a Professor of School of Engineering at Nagoya University in 1981.
•    In 1992, he took retirement from Nagoya University and joined Meijo University as a Professor.
•    However, he joined the Nagoya University again in 2004 as a Distinguished Professor.
•    He has contributed in the discovery of nitride semiconductor p conduction and p-n junction blue luminescent device and achieved a high-quality nanostructure in nitride semiconductors and verifying the quantum effects.

Hiroshi Amano
•    Hiroshi Amano was born in 1960 in Hamamatsu, Japan.  
•    He did Ph.D (Doctor of Engineering) in 1989 from Nagoya University in Japan.
•    He joined the Nagoya University as a Research Associate in 1988 and obtained the position of the Professor at the University in 2010.
•    He has made his contribution in various fields like Light emitting diode, laser diode, High power and high frequency transistor, Solar cells, Nano structure, Crystal growth of compound semiconductors and Semiconductor device physics.

Shuji Nakamura
•    Born in 1954 at Ikata in Japan,  Shuji Nakamura is now an American citizen.
•    Nakamura graduated from the University of Tokushima in 1977 with a degree in electronic engineering.
•    He was awarded a Doctor of Engineering degree from the University of Tokushima in 1994.
•    He is a Japanese American professor at the Materials Department of the College of Engineering, University of California, Santa Barbara.
•    Nakamura has worked on green LEDs and is responsible for creating the white LED and blue laser diodes used in Blu-ray Discs and HD DVDs.

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